Smart phone study earns rosette for researchers

Thursday 10th May 2018

Smart phone study earns rosette for researchers

A project empowering patients to get involved in the ongoing care of their burns injuries whilst reducing the number of follow-up outpatient appointments they need has won researchers at Queen Victoria Hospital a prize.

Members of the hospital’s multidisciplinary burns team presented their work at the eminent British Burns Association conference and walked away with the rosette for the best research poster.

Burns unit staff wanted to get patients more involved in their care and also help reduce the number of appointments they had to attend. This was particularly important for those living a long distance from the hospital or those who had difficulties with transport. They decided to use readily accessible technology to help – the patient’s own smartphone. They have been getting patients to record clinical staff carrying out dressing changes, which patients, or their family members can then use as a step by step guide to do it themselves at home. It also recorded staff describing what they are doing and why.

This approach has reduced the number of outpatient appointments needed by the patients, and also taken away the fear that they won’t remember what to do when they get home. It also means that should a dressing get wet or need to be changed sooner than planned the patient or their family know what to do.

One relative said she wanted to become a nurse after doing the dressings whilst other patients commented on how helpful the video had been in providing step by step instructions. Now the team are looking to carry out further research involving more patients.

Baljit Dheansa, Consultant Plastic Surgeon at Queen Victoria Hospital who was involved in the study, said: “We’re delighted the project was awarded best research poster at the annual British Burns Association conference. Allowing patients to clean their wounds and change their own wound dressings gives them autonomy and encourages them to take ownership of their healing. By using a smart phone to record their dressings being changed, patients have told us they have increased confidence and also guidance to refer back to after the appointment.”

Pictured: Patient records a member of Queen Victoria Hospital clinical staff carrying out a dressing change.

For more information please contact the QVH Press Office on 01342 414508.